TOKYO Japanese shipments
of flat-rolled steel products fell sharply in April after
hitting their highest levels in more than a year the previous
Total shipments of hot-rolled,
cold-rolled and galvanized sheet, and plate dropped 14.2
percent to 3.6 million tonnes, according to the Japan Iron and
Hot-rolled steel shipments saw
the biggest drop, falling 20.8 percent to 1.29 million tonnes.
However, shipments increased 17.2 percent year on year amid a
strong rebound both from the domestic market and exports.
Similarly, higher production by
automakers means that galvanized sheet shipments of 977,000
tonnes increased 5.6 percent from the previous year even though
they were down 6 percent from March levels.
Shipments usually retreat in
April after mills boost shipments in March ahead of the end of
their fiscal year.
However, mills continue to see
weakening underlying demand for cold-rolled sheet and plate,
with plate shipments of 843,000 tonnes down 11.7 percent month
on month and 12.6 percent year on year. Cold-rolled sheet
shipments of 488,000 tonnes declined 18.5 percent from March
levels and were down 5.4 percent year on year.
Shipments of long products,
meanwhile, remain supported by robust demand from the
H-beam shipments, although down 20.7 percent from March,
were up 8.5 percent year on year to 306,000 tonnes, while light
bar shipments of 809,000 tonnes declined just 1.7 percent month
on month but rose 8.6 percent from April 2012 levels.
A version of this article was
first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.